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To the StackOverflow team -> on your job listing for a software developer, you use the line "Strong opinions about the Lisp programming language, weakly held".

I know about the meaning and origins of the phrase (and fully agree personally), and I could try to assume your answer: "to keep the job listing fun and convey the tone of our workplace", or something like that.

But directly asking is always better, right?


  • why the part "about Lisp programming language" specifically?
  • am I assuming correctly, and is there something else/more to your using of this line?

One more thing - yes, I am aware that perhaps I should have used the email adress for this question. But it seemed that asking on the meta better keeps with the spirit of this whole (IMO great) thing here.

Thanks so much for your time (and I hope that with this I'm not wasting anyone's).

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I think it has something to do with how every "serious" programmer considers LISP (or Scheme) to be the greatest programming language ever, and at the same time never seriously considers programming anything in it. I.e. its a joke. – crasic Nov 15 '10 at 13:08
@user153460: what is the origin and the meaning of the phrase? Bob Sutton's blog post may explain the meaning, but what about the true origin? Paul Saffo? (A Coding Horror blog post is titled Strong Opinions, Weakly Held‌​, BTW.) – Peter Mortensen Nov 15 '10 at 17:43
@Peter Mortensen: well, the origin is given in Bob Sutton's blog post; it originated with Paul Saffo, the Director of Palo Alto Institute for the Future. I believe it, as I have no reason to doubt it. I do doubt the concept itself first appeared just then and there - it would be very surprising to learn that rhetoric took so long to get to it. First suspect for origins that comes to me is Plato's "Phaedrus"... but I only know of that work, haven't read it and can't confirm. – casedeck Nov 16 '10 at 7:45
About the Coding Horror blog post (yes, know of it, read it) - I believe that's actually an example of the concept in action (in the post Mr. Atwood is responding to one specific criticism of his blog, it the spirit of strong opinions, weakly held). – casedeck Nov 16 '10 at 7:49

I did not post this ... and:

 (I 'am'
  (not realy
   (sure how) (to answer))
) this)
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